Life gives me little reminders to take care of my health. One of the most recent ones I’ve discovered is that when I’m under stress I bring up The Holocaust. It’s not as if I am trying to get a laugh out of people by juxtaposing the Holocaust with everyday troubles, at least not all the time. I was visiting two separate people I know in the hospital. We were talking about some light things and some heavy ones but the “H” word pops out of my mouth. I guess I might have been warming up to it. Maybe I was getting overwhelmed and didn’t know it. I had to laugh at it later. Not at The Holocaust, at myself! Maybe these folks didn’t notice because they had enough on their minds or maybe they were too polite to say “There she goes again on a free fall into depression and the futility of life.”
My sister is not afraid to tell me. “Why did you have to mention Hitler in a post on Facebook?” In my defense, the post read “ I didn’t mention Hitler in this blog post so It’s safe to read.” I have used my interest in Holocaust literature to scare away suitors who were exceedingly annoying. I am shameless.
These outbreaks of “H” words are similar to when my face breaks out. I always thought this was hormones or something I ate but now that I’m past all that I consistently see that my face breaks out when I’m under stress and I usually get a cold or flu right afterwards. I make a connection here that my holocaust breaks out around the same time. I noticed about 20 years ago that my f* used to break out about 9:30 during improv rehearsals and I would start sneezing. I had the revelation that I was not turning into a sailor or suddenly allergic to my own furniture but I was overtired. I have a one word vocabulary when I ‘m tired and that word is f*. I used to say it lots more than I do now, even though I’m tired sometimes. Maybe that’s because of the angry impression it leaves.
For example, I was walking down a mostly deserted street today. I walk fast and was about to pass a gal about a foot shorter than me, with long dark hair. She was talking on her cell phone. I was concerned I might scare her as the sidewalk was tight and I was right behind her. Then I heard her say “F*” them!” to her conversation partner on the phone. I lost all concern about her being shocked by my presence. I figured she was a little less sensitive and needed less care. I don’t want people to think that way about me. I need all the care I can get.
I’m depressed, anxious and odd. I identify way too much with The Holocaust, for someone who does not have an ancestor involved. I read The Gulag Archipelago on the beach when I was a teen. I guess I want to learn how to deal with the worst. Perhaps I just want to stop every conversation and make people stare at me. It was brought up at work the other day (not by me!), that some people think it’s a crime to have baby pictures of Hitler on the internet. I happen to think this is a great reminder that we are all the victims and the perpetrators. I am involved with the malfeasances of our politicians and industrial conglomerates due to my unexamined habits. I go to The Performing Arts Center and The Bonny Sosa Tuesday Night Races and stand quietly while we are asked to applaud our sponsors – Conoco Phillips and BP. What if I closed my Alaska Airlines Bank of America credit card in protest? Perhaps this would do more good than flying to NYC on Alaska Air in order to sit outside of The Stock Exchange. I’m in their pocket and it’s going to require lots of people to change our ways to get the economy in line with our ethics. Perhaps when I have more integration of my ethics with my economy I won’t hear myself uttering either of the “H” words so much.